Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 4 December 2017: Wake Up, Girls! Shin Shō remembers that Shimada Mayu is first among equals

Shiho and Mayu
In unrelated news, I'm pretty stoked Shiho is in this too.

I can't remember where I first heard Wake Up, Girls! characterized as "failure moé," but the term has stuck with me as a fairly apt way of describing the franchise, notably for its upward swings from being the underdog as the only idol show without a Sunrise affiliation, to achieving solid triumphant moments, including what was reportedly a stunning performance at Anime Expo 2017 in Los Angeles (which I missed). Unfortunately, the current season of the anime, Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter, has fared woefully from an animation standpoint, giving the impression that the WUGs have taken a couple steps backwards. The Yamakan-helmed first season had its own problems at times, but nothing anywhere near this dire. Through seven episodes, extensive use of stills and slow pans turn much of the show into a radio drama, and it's obvious quite a bit of daylight separates reality and desire when it comes to production efforts. Problems plague even the official subtitles, which continue to display an incorrect name for one of the main characters in the opening credits even now.

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Dated 12 January 2014: Wake Up, Girls! seems better than I was led to believe

Mayu
This is just like the Mushishi special!

Most of the initial reactions to Wake Up, Girls! seem to be profoundly negative. In particular, they caused me to expect poor production values, unattractive art, and terrible voice acting. Now that I've seen the one-hour prequel movie and the first episode, I find most of these complaints to be somewhat overblown and likely inspired (at least in part) by the running joke Yamamoto "Yamakan" Yutaka himself has become. I consider myself "Yamakan neutral" with regard to the typical attitude serious anime fans seem to hold towards him. I enjoyed some of his pre-controversy shows (e.g., Kannagi), disliked some (e.g., Lucky Star), and generally feel all his "saving anime" baggage is silly, undeserved, and irrelevant.

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